One thing I like about working at a bookstore is you never know what you will find. And when circumstances had me finding Talking to Strangers: A Memoir of My Escape from a Cult my first thought was (as I only saw Talking to Strangers), “So?” But then I looked at the cover and thought, “Well that’s interesting. Let’s give Marianne Boucher more of a look-at later.” I left it, face up on my desk, and a nosy coworker looked at it, “What’s this…. oh! Cult…!” How I had missed the word cult, I will never know. But it sealed the deal. I was going to read this book.
This is a memoir of how the author left the Moonies cult. It is not an “in depth” look at the ins and outs of things, but an interesting overview of what Boucher experienced. It covers the feelings, emotions, and the surface of the tricks that are used to control. The cover makes more sense when you realize how Boucher first meets two members of the group. This book is rounded up to a 3.5 from a three, yet there were times when this book was a four. I was left wanting more as I felt there was something missing, that the information/story was incomplete, and therefore, averaged it out.
After reading other reviews I noticed several people are on the fence of “is this a good book or not” and “I don’t think I like it.” There were places where they were confused of the flow of things. And now that I have sat and thought about it, I think that not only is there something we are not being told, but that the author still has a piece of themselves still there. It could have been a lot more scathing, and the author was almost gentle in the portrayal of the other members.
The illustrations fit the tone of the story, but they can be a bit awkward. Lack of color and detail set you into the story, but also can be uncomfortable. This is not an easy read, but one that should be mentioned. And while it is not the best book on the subject of cults or this particular cult, it is a good book to read about one persons reactions and feelings after the fact.